Hypocrisy Reigns Supreme In The NFL When It Comes To Ezekiel Elliott

Hypocrisy Reigns Supreme In The NFL When It Comes To Ezekiel Elliott

When will players wake up and realize they're defending a criminal?
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To say that the players of the NFL are hypocrites when it comes to their “activism” would be an incredible understatement. When it comes to the way that the NFL has taken a stance on social justice over the past two months, their two-faced nature has proven to be polarizing and largely ineffective. Namely, when the spotlight is taken off of the players taking a knee for the National Anthem, the focus turns to Cowboys running back, Ezekiel Elliott.

Early last year, Elliott was accused of domestic abuse with a former girlfriend. When the Dallas Cowboys selected Elliott with the 4th overall pick in 2016’s draft, the accusations that were being thrown Elliott’s way were not in consideration when the Cowboys made their selection. However, during July of 2016, Elliott’s ex-girlfriend came forward again, discussing continued abuse that took place throughout the summer. She revealed bruises, scars and threatening text messages that Elliott sent to his self-proclaimed “friend with benefits”. However, these accusations were disregarded and Elliott was allowed to play throughout the duration of the 2016 season, even though the evidence was strikingly present and the NFL even acknowledged the fact that Elliott was responsible for the bruises on his accuser’s arms, face, and torso.

Fast forward to the summer of 2017 when NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell, alongside high-ranking NFL officials, re-opened the investigation into Elliott’s charges. However, the NFL Players Association has stepped in and they have done everything humanly possible in order to defend Elliott’s inhumane behavior. Over the past 4 months, a dirty legal battle has kept Elliott on the field, as the court’s inability to come to a decision has allowed “Zeke” to play each Sunday as evidence and accusations loom over each game. And although the NFL has tried to suspend Elliott on six separate occasions, Elliott’s fellow players have to come to his defense each and every time.

This concept is called “selective activism”, and it’s killing the NFL’s image, integrity, and of course, their ratings. However, this false sense of “social justice” is not only an issue for the NFL at a corporate level, as the players are feeling the heat as well.

Hypocrisy is the flavor of the month at NFL stadiums, where players will speak up against police brutality and white-on-black violence, while these same players will defend a violent domestic abuser with their dying breath. Who are these players to lecture anyone on “modern social justice” while they harbor a violent criminal within their own walls? This begs an even greater question. Where are the criminal charges for Elliott? Or Ray Rice for that matter? Or the countless domestic abusers in the long history of the NFL? Are these players exempt from basic American law simply because they play football?

The worst part is that American society has held football players and sports icons to this incredible standard for too long now. The damage is done. Ray Rice was able to beat his fiancee to a bloody pulp and only received a 2 game suspension from the NFL with no criminal charges whatsoever. Ezekiel Elliott was able to leave his ex-girlfriend bloodied and scarred and still plays in the national spotlight each Sunday. And of course former star running back for the Buffalo Bills, O.J. Simpson, who famously killed his ex-wife and escaped conviction, while his defense team used his star power to evade the law.

The NFL is notorious for crime amongst its players, and the NFL Players Association will always do everything possible to defend rampant criminals, no matter how much blood is on their hands. The ultimate hypocrisy occurs when these same players will “use their platform” to “preach social justice”, but fail to realize that their union is the very same one that defends proven criminals in the face of undeniable evidence. And now, one of those proven criminals will play once again this week, as he has been all year, after being granted a temporary restraining order and a postponement to his hearing that will allow him to specifically play this week.

There are about 4.7 million American women who suffer from domestic violence each year, and Ezekiel Elliott’s ex-girlfriend is just one drop in an ever-expanding ocean of American violence. That number grows each and every year, while the players of the NFL sit back and stoke the fire. If the NFL wants to clear their image, Ezekiel Elliott must be suspended, and criminal charges must be considered. However, if the players of the NFL truly want to make a difference, and actually “use their platform” for good, then they should take a step back and realize that blindly defending a violent domestic abuser is wrong, no matter how well he can run a football.

The utter hypocrisy that the NFL Players Association has shown throughout this entire series of events is mind-numbing. The fact that a man like Elliott can be defended so vigorously by so many, despite countless pieces of evidence working against him is simply unfathomable. The blood is quite literally on “Zeke’s” hands, and still, his colleagues defend him as if he is the one who has been mistreated and victimized. So before you give a hand to the NFL players who protest on the sidelines each week, remember that these are the men who will continuously take a knee for what they believe is right, but will never take a stand against what is truly wrong.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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I Wouldn't Trade My DII Experience To Play DI Athletics Any Day

I'm thankful that I didn't go DI because I wouldn't have had the best four-year experience as a college athlete.

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As a high school athlete, the only goal is to play your varsity sport at the Division 1 level in college.

No one in high school talks about going to a Division 2 or 3 school, it's as if the only chance you have at playing college athletics is at the DI level. However, there are so many amazing opportunities to play a varsity sport at the DII and DIII level that are equally fun and competitive as playing for a division 1 team.

As a college athlete at the DII level, I hear so many DI athletes wishing they had played at the DII or DIII level. Because the fact of the matter is this: the division you play in really doesn't matter.

The problem is that DII and DIII sports aren't as celebrated as Division 1 athletics. You don't see the National Championships of Division 2 and 3 teams being broadcasted or followed by the entire country. It's sad because the highest levels of competition at the DII and DIII level are competing against some of the Division 1 teams widely celebrated across the country. Yet DII and DIII teams don't receive the recognition that DI athletics do.

Not everyone can be a DI athlete but that doesn't mean it's easy to be a DII or DIII athlete. The competition is just as tough as it is at the top for DII and DIII athletes. Maybe the stakes are higher for these athletes because they have to prove they are just as good as DI athletes. Division 2 and 3 athletes have just as much grit and determination as Division 1 athletes, without the glorified title of being "a division 1 athlete."

Also, playing at the DII or DIII level grants more opportunities to make your college experience your own, not your coach's.

I have heard countless horror stories in athletics over the course of my four-year journey however, the most heartbreaking come from athletes who lose their drive to compete because of the increased pressure from coaches or program. Division 1 athletics are historically tougher programs than Division 2 or 3 programs, making an athlete's college experience from one division to another significantly different.

The best part of not going to a division 1 school is knowing that even though my team doesn't have "DI" attached to it, we still have the opportunity to do something unique every time we arrive at an event. Just because we aren't "DI" athletes, we still have the drive and competitive spirit to go to an event and win. We are great players, and we have broken countless records as a team.

That's something we all have done together, and it's something we can take with us for the rest of our lives.

We each have our own mission when it comes to our college athletic careers, however together we prove to be resilient in the fight for the title. Giving it all when we practice and play is important, but the memories we have made behind the scenes as a team makes it all worth it, too.

The best part of being apart of college athletics is being able to be passionate about your sport with teammates that embody that same mindset. It's an added benefit to having teammates who become your best friends because it makes your victories even more victorious, and your defeats easier to bare.

No matter what level an athlete is playing at in college, it's important that all the hours spent at practice and on the road should be enjoyed with teammates that make the ride worthwhile. The experiences athletes have at any level are going to vary, but the teammates I have and the success we've had together is something I cherish and will take with me forever. I'm thankful that I didn't go DI because I wouldn't have had the best four-year experience as a college athlete.

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